Interview: 4 Four Truths’ Songwriter Mary McClain
It’s always an honor to have your work shown at the Cannes International Film Festival, so I spoke to independent songwriter Mary McClain who’s song Inner Empire features in the opening credits of french film, The Four Truths…
Meet Mary McClain. She’s a independent songwriter from Omaha, Nebraska in American and after writing lyrics on and off for the last 20 years, she finally decided to take the plunge and share with the world her song writing abilities. After two years of working with other gifted song writers, Mary has achieved a great deal, including having a song she co-wrote with Philippe Pereleman, called Inner Empire, which is featured in the opening credits of The Four Truths, a french film directed and produced by Greg Cervall.
1) Please can you sum up what The Four Truths is about?
The Four Truths is about telling someone how you really feel about him or her bluntly. You’re no longer hiding the truth about how you feel about him or her.
2) The Four Truths is a French film, are French films the type of films you work on the most? If so why?
The Four Truths is the first time I have ever written a song for a film. It is really exciting but scary not knowing what to expect when you first hear your song in a film.
3) What does it mean to you that a film you’ve worked on is to be shown at the Cannes International Film Festival?
It is beyond my wildest dreams to hear Inner Empire in the opening credits for The Four Truths. When I first started song writing, I would of never have thought that one of my songs would ever be used in a film.
4) Have you seen the full film yet?
No, I haven’t seen the whole film yet. I’ve seen the opening credits and that is about it. I am interested in seeing the whole film but it would have to be available in English subtitles since I don’t speak French.
Watch the opening credits of The Four Truths featuring Mary’s song Inner Empire, below!
5) The opening track, Inner Empire lyrics are in English yet the dialogue that follows is French-why is this the case?
To make a long story short, Inner Empire was a song off the Weangstles Avenue album. This collaboration was one I was working on with co-writer Philippe (a.k.a. Phil) Perelman. Phil shared some of the songs from the Weangstles Avenue collaboration with Greg Cervall. When Greg heard Inner Empire, he felt like Inner Empire would fit perfectly in the opening credits for his film The Four Truths.
6) Inner Empire is a very soothing track-how does this relate to the themes of The Four Truths?
The reason Inner Empire fits perfectly in the opening credits for The Four Truths is because the song is about making your own decisions in your life. Inner means “inside”. Empire “are ruled by one”. So inside you are the one who decides what information or feeling you’re willing to share with others when it comes to life and your happiness.
7) Did you write all the music/melodies for The Four Truths or just the opening track?
Inner Empire was the only song of mine used in The Four Truths.
8) Do you write music in other contexts or do you just work in film?-If yes, do you prefer writing music for film, if so why?
I write music. It was a blessing though to have this particular song featured in The Four Truths.
9) In your opinion, why is background music and song so important to a film?
For me, music in a film can trigger something in my mind to help me remember something important which is happening at that particular time.
10) Following Inner Empire in the video you sent me, there is a melody played on the piano and then violin-why did you choose these instruments?
My co-writer Phil was the mastermind behind the melody. I’m sure he chose those instruments to sound different from everything else that you hear on the radio or internet these days.
11) Talk us through the process of writing a song for a film-do you read the script first, sketch out a melody, then add lyrics-? Do yo meet the actors before hand?
Inner Empire wasn’t wrote for a film. It was used on a collaboration album by the name of Weangstles Avenue. I can tell you the process Phil and I use when collaborating was to have a rough melody with rough lyrics, then we would write new lyrics, and finally the lyrics would be combined with the new melody to complete the song.
12) What inspires you when you write music?
I write music based on the mood I’m feeling. If I’m happy, I’m more likely to write music that is happy, upbeat, and light-hearted. If I’m sad or angry, my music will be sad, angry, or reflective.
” In my short two years of combining my lyrics with other talented songwriters, it has allowed me to become a better song writer and made me realize how much I really love being involved in the process of song writing.”
13) What other films, if any, have you worked on?
This is the first film I’ve worked on and hopefully it will not be the last one!
14) What plans in terms of writing music for film do you have/want to do in the future?
I never had any plans to write music for a film when I started out my song writing career. Now, I’m hopefully that my music will be heard in more films in a future. My saying is “dream big” because if you believe in yourself nothing in this world is impossible.
15) Lastly, please sum up why people should go watch The Four Truths?
Cannes International Film Festival is a big honor for the men and women who direct, produce, act, etc… in these films. You never know what kind of talent will be discovered by watching these films. Please support all of the talented men and women by watching their movies.